Origin and History
A unit of 120 cuirassiers was raised in the Duchy of Flanders on 16 March 1601.
In 1695, during the Nine Years' War (1688–97), this unit was present at the siege of Namur where it formed the personal guard of the Teniente General de la Caballeria de Flandes (Lieutenant-General of the cavalry of Flanders).
According to an ordonnance issued on 3 March 1701, the 120 men of the company of the 1st Teniente General de la Caballeria de Flandes was formed into a regiment initially consisting of four companies of 35 men each. Four additional companies were later raised. The regiment was designated as “Regimiento Chacon y Orellana.
In the Spring of 1701, at the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-13), two squadrons of the unit were stationed in the Spanish Netherlands. In 1702, it campaigned in Flanders. In 1703, it took part in the siege of Kehl, in the siege and capture of Alt-Breisach, in the siege of Landau]] and in the Combat of Speyerbach; in 1704, in the Battle of Blenheim where it was almost annihilated. Its remnants then retired to Flanders. In 1706, it took part in the Battle of Ramillies; in 1708, in the Battle of Oudenarde; and in 1709, in the Battle of Malplaquet. In 1710, the regiment was transferred from the Spanish Netherlands to Spain where it participated in the combat of Ocaña and in the decisive Battle of Villaviciosa. In 1711, it served in Aragon and Catalonia to cover the various sieges. In 1713, it joined the troops blockading Barcelona. In 1714, it took part, in the blockade, siege and capture of Barcelona which was finally stormed on 11 September.
In 1715, the regiment took cantonments in Valencia.
In 1719, the regiment was transferred from the District of Valencia to Catalonia to fight the French.
In 1727, one squadron of the regiment took part in the unsuccessful siege of Gibraltar.
In 1735, the regiment joined the army assembling in Extremadura to observe the Portuguese army. In 1737, it took cantonments in the Province of Extremadura.
In 1741, during the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48), the regiment marched through Catalonia, the Pyrenees, Rousillon and Languedoc to join the Franco-Spanish army assembling for the planned invasion of Savoy. In 1742, it took part in the unsuccessful invasion of Savoy. In 1744, it attacked the Piemontese entrenchments at Monte Albano and Villefranche and fought in the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo. In 1745, it took part in the siege of Serravale, in the passage of the Tanaro, in the Battle of Bassignano, in the blockade and siege of Alessandria, in the siege of Valença del Po and in the capture of Casale Monferrato. In 1746, it took part in the capture of 2,000 Allies at Codogno, in the Battle of Piacenza, in the Battle of Rottofreddo and in the unsuccessful defence of Tortona before retiring to Antibes in Provence. It was then sent to garrison Naples until its return to Spain in 1748.
In 1754, the regiment was transferred to the District of Andalusia and took up cantons in Rota.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was under the command of:
- from June 22 1760: Don Francisco Ruix Dávalos
- from April 3 1763: Don Francisco Sensi
In 1763, after the war, the regiment incorporated four companies of Barcelona Cavalry.
Service during the War
At the beginning of May 1760, each company of the regiment was increased with 5 troopers. The regiment was still cantonned in Rota. It was then sent to join the Army of Extremadura for the planned invasion of Portugal. On October 24, it took up cantonments in Herrera. On November 14, it was transferred to San Vincente.
Before 1749, the uniform of the regiment was white with red distinctive. In 1749, the distinctive colour was changed from red to blue.
|Headgear||black tricorne laced white with a red cockade fastened with a small white button|
|Coat||white a row of white buttons grouped 2 by 2 on the left side, 1 white button on each side in the small of the back and small white buttons on each side to fasten the basques
|Waistcoat||blue with white buttons and horizontal pockets each with white buttons|
The Conde de Clonard mentions that the distinctive colour of the regiment was changed from blue to black in 1761 to commemorate the participation of the regiment to the sanguinary Battle of Blenheim in 1704. It seems that as soon as 1763, the distinctive colour was reverted to blue.
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Musicians probably wore a uniform with reversed colours: blue coat with white facings.
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This article is mostly made of abridged and adapted excerpts from the following books which are now in the public domain:
- Clonard, Conde de, Historia Orgánica de las Armas de Infantería y Caballería, vol. XV, Madrid, 1851-62, pp. 33-50
Album de Taccoli, 1759
Juan José Torres and the Asociación Cultural de Modelismo Histórico Alabarda for the information and counselling provided for this article.